An FCT High Court in Gwagwalada has ordered a man, Emmanuel Okoro, to cut grasses around the premises of the Sharia Court in the area for two days for internet fraud.
Okoro was docked by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a count charge, bordering on cheating by impersonation.
The defendant, however, pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Aliyu Shafa, convicted Okoro and sentenced him to cutting of grasses around the court premises from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for two days, under the supervision of a non-custodian correctional officer.
Shafa ordered that the iPhone 11, being the instrument used for the crime, be burnt in front of the court in the presence of the EFCC prosecutor, the defence counsel, the convict, police orderly and the court registrar.
He said that the evidence of the destruction should be forwarded to the EFCC Legal Department as well as to the court.
The convict had earlier pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, pledging that he would not indulge in such acts again.
“I regret my actions. I want to beg the court for mercy. I am deeply sorry for what I did.
“I am a changed person now, knowing full well the consequences of my offence,” he said.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Samuel Akuh, in support of the allocutus by the convict, had told the court that Okoro, who had no previous conviction record in Nigeria, was very now remorseful and repentant.
“Okoro has truly expressed his regrets before this court for having committed the said offence against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We want to appeal passionately to this court that the convict has realised that there is no excuse for indulging in crime of any nature, especially against Nigeria.
“No offence under any guise goes unpunished. He was deceived into cybercrime as a result of peer pressure, which is not an excuse, knowing full well that when the hammer falls, it falls on anyone that runs foul of the law.
“We appeal to the court to look on him with the eyes of mercy and forgiveness, having shown remorse for his action.
“His stay in the custody of the complainant has taught him a great lesson; he has come to realise that no one goes against the country without being burnt,” he said.
Akuh appealed to the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the convict, adding that a non-custodial sentence should be granted to him.
Earlier, Counsel to EFCC, Mr S.N. Robert, told the court that Okoro, within the jurisdiction of the court, attempted to cheat by impersonation.
Robert said that the convict represented himself on a Facebook profile page as Edward Sulisi, an American citizen, a fact he knew was false.
The offence, according to him, contravenes the provisions of Section 95, when read in conjunction with Section 313 of the Penal Code (Laws of the Federation, Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act.
Robert said that in the course of investigation, an iPhone 11 cell phone was found with the convict and that was the instrument used for attempting to cheat.
He also prayed the court that the phone, being an instrument for the crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government through the prosecuting agency or as the court deemed fit. (NAN)
Gunmen Kill 27, Rob Road Users for Hours Within Two Days in Benue
From Attah Ede, Makurdi
Gunmen suspected to be cult groups, have reportedly killed 27 people within two days after invading Tse- Anule, Chito and Tse- Akosu communities in Ukum local government area of Benue State.
DDAILY ASSET gathered that the gang groups carried out acts on Saturday and early hours of Sunday.
At Tse- Anule, it was learned that the cult boys stormed the area with motorcycles and after killing people, went and mounted roadblocks along Sankara and Ayati, robbed people for several hours.
Eye witness from the axis told DAILY ASSET that the armed group came with different guns and ammunition and ordered all the villagers who were relaxing under the mango tree to lie facedown.
The source further said immediately the victims obliged and lied facedown, they opened fire on them, killing five of the defenceless people.
According to the source, who didn’t want his name mentioned in print, the armed men thereafter proceeded to mount roadblocks along Sankara and Ayati road and robbed many people of their belongings for several hours.
Recall that not more than 22 persons were also reportedly killed in Chito and Tyo Akosu communities of same Ukum Local Government Area of the state as a result of a rival gang fight and attack on a drinking spot, bringing the total number of causalities to 27.
The fight was said to be between the notorious criminals armed groups known as “Chain Gang” and “Full Fire” which left about 15 able men dead, while several others sustained various degrees of gun injuries.
One of the sources stated that the killings at Tyo Akosu settlement was perpetrated by unknown armed men who also stormed a drinking spot in the village and opened fire on unsuspecting customers at the bar.
He said he could not readily confirm if the attack at Tyo Akosu was an extension of the Chito fight but noted that the suspicion among the locals was that the supremacy fight was fast spreading in the communities of the LGA.
Another source explained that, “it all started Friday afternoon during a fight for supremacy between kingpins of crime in Ukum LGA. They are known as Chain and Full Fire gangs with their operational base located in the LGA.
“Both of them are looking for each others necks. Full FIre employed the services of another banditry group to help kill the Chain gang who got wind of the plan and laid ambush for them.
“They opened fire and killed all of them. Some persons claimed that 10 persons were killed in the bloody fight while others said they counted 15 bodies.
“But it was an internal fight for supremacy among gangs and not a communal crisis. In fact the locals ran away because they feared for their lives. They feared that in the course of the reprisal, they might be affected despite being innocent.”
“Ukum has become hotbed of killings, we are all living in fear as we speak because we cannot tell who is who among our local boys,” he said.
When contacted, the Benue State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene said she was yet to receive information on the incidents
Governorship Election: IGP Orders Redeployment of Imo CP
R The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Kayode Egbetokun has ordered the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of Imo, Mr Mohammed Barde to the Force Headquarters.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Monday in Abuja.
He said the redeployment of the CP ahead of the Nov.11 governoship election in the state was in line with his commitment to ensure neutrality in the election.
Adejobi said the decision to reshuffle the CP underscores the Police Force’s unwavering dedication to upholding the rule of law throughout the electoral proceedings.
“This redeployment is not an indictment on the affected officer but a broader strategy aimed at bolstering security measures, promoting transparency and upholding the integrity of the electoral security management.
“The I-G is resolute in ensuring a secured environment for all stakeholders, political parties, candidates and citizens to participate in the electoral process,” he said.
Adejobi called urged the electorate to cooperate with the police and other security agencies by adhering to the law to ensure a smooth and successful election. (NAN)
Plateau LGA Sustains Crackdown On Kidnappers
From Jude Dangwam, Jos
The Transition Implementation Committee Chairman of Qua’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State, Hon. Christopher Manship Audu Wallat, has said the local Council had to embark on an intense crackdown on kidnappers to pave ways for the economic growth and infrastructural development of the area.
He said the Local Government had unfortunately become a hotbed for kidnapping, leading to collapse in economic activities despite the fact that the LGA is strategically located at the common boundary with Nasarawa State.
“Let me tell you, before this administration came into place, people in Qua’an Pan LGA didn’t sleep in their houses.We don’t go to weddings and other occasions due to insecurity, especially kidnapping, armed robbery and assassination.
“But to the glory of God, we have reduced it drastically. Because when we catch the culprit we don’t let you go free, the life of our people is our concern and definitely that is what we are doing. You can go anywhere in Qua’an-Pan and ask if we have reduced the trend of kidnapping, arm robbery, and we will continue to go after them.
“Thank God for the cooperation we are having from the security agents and the backing of the State Government in creating a safe and conducive atmosphere for citizens to go about their legitimate activities in our locality” he stated.
He explained that the rationale behind the construction of some bridges on the road linking Shindai, Jak, Bwall, Doemak, Monday and other neighboring local government areas to Namu is to enhance quick response to any distress calls and to further boost economic activities of the agrarian communities.
“This road as you can see is very strategic, people from Shindai, Bwall, Doemak, Jak, Monday, Teng do ply this very road to Namu despite not yet being constructed. Unfortunately, there is no road again for people to follow because of the absence of the bridges which were washed away by flood.
“Vehicles don’t ply this road again, and at harvest time, economic activities should be able to kick-start. And such economic activities cannot happen without these bridges to ease the movement of our people and goods into the market.
“Most of the cattle you see being brought to Namu Market often come from this place. Not to talk of farm produce like yam, rice, beans among others. Students find it difficult to go to school especially in the rainy season.
“This is an agrarian area; these bridges will also help in terms of quick response to any security threats in these communities. Without these bridges, if there are any distress calls from communities across here, security personnel cannot cross to salvage the situation,” he explained
He said without addressing the already bad security situation he inherited, contractors could not be on site.
Among those projects inspected by the TIC Chairman were the ongoing “construction of new wards and Laboratory at Primary Healthcare Namu, construction of a new Primary Healthcare unit at Pandam; Construction of Primary Healthcare Goechim/Fencing of the PHC with staff quarters, ongoing construction of Vangkoesgoes bridge Shindai and construction of Kong Dungbaan bridge in Shindai Ward
Another on-going project is the completion of Turniang Kwande bridge, rehabilitation of District Head Office Kwalla, Primary Healthcare Dunras-Monday in Bwall Ward, Primary Healthcare Kwagar Kwang Ward; Completion of Long Pan’s Palace, Renovation of Qua’an-Pan Guest House also known as Felix Dakyap Guest House and Solarization of the Chairman’s House in the Local Government among others.
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